Marks In the Mix On Defensive Front

A report is featured on redshirt freshman defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks.

Auburn, Ala.--Sen'Derrick Marks impressed his Auburn coaches last preseason with his hustle and athletic ability.

At the time they said they wished he was stronger, bigger and had some more experience.

As the Tigers hit the halfway point of spring practice 2006, Marks is stronger, he is also significantly bigger at 287 pounds and he has a little more experience.

Because of a lack of depth on the defensive front, Marks was called on for spot duty early in the 2005 season. He handled himself surprisingly well despite being undersized, however, an injury that kept him out of practice and games eventually led to a medical hardship redshirt. That means he will be a freshman with four full seasons of eligibility starting with Auburn's 2006 season opener vs. Washington State.

Marks is looking for playing time at defensive tackle where converted defensive end Chris Browder opened spring drills at the top of the depth chart with Marks No. 2 and Andrew McCain third string. Last year's starter, Wayne Dickens, was a senior in 2005.

McCain moved to offensive tackle last week and Pat Sims and Tez Doolittle, who can also play noseguard, are in the mix at tackle, too, with their improved play through the first eight practices this spring.

Based on his performance in the first scrimmage of the spring last Saturday, Marks should have the opportunity to see significant playing time during his second fall on campus.

Sen'Derrick Marks is shown during his first Auburn spring practice.

"I was comfortable out there in the scrimmage," Marks says. "I felt better than I did in the fall. I feel like I have gotten stronger and better."

His position coach, Don Dunn, agrees. "Sen'Derrick is a young guy we are counting on to step up and be a key player for us this year. He is making progress and we want to see that continue."

Marks will get a chance to show more progress in scrimmage situations with the next one coming on Saturday and a week after that the Tigers will play their annual spring football game.

"It is a great opportunity for me at tackle this year," Marks says. "There aren't many of us on the defensive line. There were only four or five of us out there playing in the scrimmage. I have got to become a man quickly. I am ready for it."

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